How to resolve property interest when divided (percent interest)?

4 Replies

Newbie posting for first time here, names changed to protect the innocent.  I'm researching a property in Southwestern Colorado that has the following language on the county's property record "SMITH, JANE C UND 2/3 PCT INT; DOE, MARY ESTATE OF UND 1/3 PCT INT" . Based on my interpretation of the description, It appears that the property is divided by percent between the two entities. That is where it gets interesting.

Property has active city tax lien. Is vacant and probably close to tax lien sale in another year.

Jane Smith - She was the wife of the decedent owner's son. The son passed first and Jane herself passed a couple of years ago. A son passed also. I found three siblings in the eastern states and have sent letters to them.

Estate of Mary Doe:  She passed away. I found an older tax lien was paid by another individual in Arizona and am thinking that she must be the heir. I've written to her and tried to request *address service* on that letter since that same lien hasn't been paid in the last couple of years.

I'm guessing my best course is to consult a legal professional but I'm trying to get as much leg work done ahead of time.

MY QUESTION: If I'm able to make contact with any of the 'next of kin' for either party, is it possible that one of the parties can claim 'adverse possesion' and claim rights if I cannot get both entities together on the deal? Of course we'd have to settle the back taxes but what is the best course (ie, what documents do I need from each party) to make any attorney work easier?

Are both interests listed in the tax sale?   Sometimes I see just one % and not both for some reason, like one interest pays their taxes and the other doesn't.   If you pick up just one side you could file for a partition lawsuit to split your portion from the whole or try to hunt down the other party to make a deal or get them to agree to partition the whole.   Most of these I see probably aren't worth messing with.  5 acres divided between 10 kids and one kids isn't paying their taxes...so what is really for sale is 1/2 acre.   Buy the time you win the tax sale, wait your redemption period, pay an attorney to win a partition suit and hope all goes well, then there's not much room.  I do see these sell in Texas sometimes and when I do and I'm at that auction I ask the people who bought it why they bought.  Seems like in most cases they own the bordering property, know the family and think they can get a simple agreement to split.  Always very confident it will work out.

No, there is no adverse possession claim here, or other shortcut.. You need either all the heirs to sign off likely through probate or buy one party’s interest and file a partition suit to have the property sold, a messier solution.

@Wayne Brooks and @Bruce Lynn ; sounds like you both are saying the same thing. (Thanks for the replies). What documents would I need from the heirs on both sides to "sign off" or to make the process go smoother through the attorney? Since all the parties likely don't even know about the property, I'm guessing they'd be amenable to the sale but... people do weird things. What specific document would be needed to show that they are legitimate heirs and to express interest in selling?